A new mother in Alberta is speaking out in hopes of spreading awareness on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the health of many in the province, not just those with the disease.
Laura McNabb was diagnosed with endometritis two years ago following the birth of her second child.
Endometriosis is when cells that normally make up the lining of the uterus are found elsewhere in the abdomen, usually in the pelvic region, and can cause extreme pain.
After McNabb, who lives with her family near Red Deer, gave birth to her third child about 10 weeks ago, her condition worsened and she was scheduled to have a hysterectomy on Wednesday, Jan. 13. She was told last week the surgery has now been cancelled.
“Ultimately I cannot take care of my children the way that I should be able to take care of my children and just, everyday life,” she said. “We live on a farm, we have livestock, and I can’t go out and help — I can’t do anything because the pain is just too much.”
In the meantime she’s been prescribed opioids for the pain.
Alberta Health Services says that due to COVID-19 pressures on the provincial health-care system, up to 60 per cent of non-urgent scheduled surgeries that require a hospital stay have been postponed.
On Thursday, Premier Jason Kenney said part of the reason that the provincial government has extended the current COVID-19 restrictions is to ensure that even more surgeries are not cancelled.
“We could not manage continued exponential growth because once we were to hit like 2,000 or more COVID patients in hospitals, we have to cancel all surgeries that are not essential with massive damage to other people’s health,” Kenney said. “So tough measures had to be taken.”
However, McNabb said she’s worried about herself and others who have conditions that will worsen without care.
“If this doesn’t get fixed, I could develop infection and the results of this could be deadly,” McNabb said. “And that’s a hard concept to grasp — that I need to become deathly ill before I can be considered an emergency.”
She made a Facebook post this week hoping to draw attention to the issue that has been shared hundreds of times.
McNabb said while she understands the pressures on the system, conditions that cause daily pain and other issues should continue to be addressed.
“My trust in them in what they’re asking us to do is dwindling because, frankly, I don’t feel like I’m being looked out for,” McNabb said.
“I know someone who’s waiting to have a kidney removed. I know somebody who has cancer and is waiting for specific surgery to cut out portions of that cancer.
“It goes far beyond my case as well. There’s so much more to it.”
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